The ultimate guide to Christmas on the Coast
IF YOU'RE entertaining family and friends and celebrating Christmas on the Coast there are 13 golden rules you need to follow.
Here's a few musts to have ticked off your Christmas list when preparing for the best Christmas ever.
YOU don't want to turn up handing out gift cards or salted cashews because you missed the boat.
Trading hours are full of changes this time of year and Christmas Eve is usually an absolute nightmare to navigate.
Luckily we've gone to the trouble of scouting all the festive season trading hours for you, from Nambour Plaza, to Stockland Caloundra, Noosa Civic and more.
Click here to find out when you can nip in for your Christmas shopping, we've even included a few chemists just in case the flu strikes.
IF YOU'RE out to impress the in-laws you can't go past getting some of our superb fresh seafood on the party plates.
From fresh king prawns to mud crab, Moreton Bay bug or reef fish, it's hard to go past our seafood offerings.
Remember Christmas Day is too late, so here's a selection of operators and when you need to get in to secure some delicacies from the depths.
Fisheries on the Spit
Christmas Eve- open 6am-8.30pm
Christmas Day- closed
Boxing Day- open until 8.30pm
Mooloolaba Fish Market
December 23- open from 6am until 8pm on Christmas Eve
Christmas Day- closed
Boxing Day- open 9am-8pm
New Year's Eve- open 7am-8pm
New Year's Day- open 9am-8pm
Seafood Market @ Caloundra
December 23- open 9.30am until 7pm Christmas Eve
Boxing Day- open 10.30am
Noosa Junction Seafood Market
December 23- open 8.30am-6pm
Christmas Eve- open 5am-6pm
Christmas Day- closed
Boxing Day- open 9am-5pm
New Year's Eve- open 8.30am-6pm
New Year's Day- 9am-5pm
A DRY Christmas can be disastrous, so best to keep an eye on when your bottleshop will and won't be open.
Safest bet is to be in and done by Christmas Eve, and prepared with enough to last you through to 10am Boxing Day.
Dan Murphy's advertises opening on Saturdays (Christmas Eve) from 9am-6pm and 9am-7pm on Boxing Day.
Christmas Day is closed.
The State Government says no takeaway alcohol can be sold on Christmas Day and sale and supply of alcohol must finish by midnight on Christmas Eve.
Bad news for those looking to head to an adult entertainment venue too. From midnight Christmas Eve and throughout Christmas Day adult entertainment is prohibited.
WE ALL know how popular the beach is on a sweltering Christmas Day.
If you're planning on grabbing a barbecue at Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland, or any other of the plethora of hotspots, get in early.
Be prepared to deploy a faithful family member to the site in the early hours of the morning in order to secure the space.
Otherwise, try north of the Maroochy River, for a quieter beachside setting.
If you're headed to Mudjimba bring the ping pong bats and have a game on the table.
Alternatively there are a string of licensed venues holding Christmas Day festivities this year.
Novotel Twin Waters Resort is holding its Christmas Day lunch function, while The Wharf Tavern has its Christmas luncheon with a beverage package up for grabs, kicking off at 11.30am.
A string of other venues are also holding functions, including Kawana Waters Hotel, Golden Beach Tavern and plenty more.
ANOTHER less thought of but vital ingredient to Christmas Day.
Forgetting the ice can be a disaster and by Christmas Eve the service stations, bait shops and more are getting hammered.
If you've got a good esky, it's an idea to get in relatively early on Christmas Eve, or prepare to queue up.
Supermarkets are also a decent bet if you're chasing something to keep the beers and prawns cool.
The ice machine on Maud St, Maroochydore, is worth a shot, while you might get lucky early Christmas morning if you can beat the early risers and snag a few bags at a service station.
Alternatively you could look at hiring your own mobile coolroom for the festive period.
Local operators Buderim Air Refrigeration and Air-conditioning is one business that specialises in Coast coolroom hire.
THE Sunbus timetable is on limited service on Christmas Day around the Coast.
It may pay to line a taxi up in advance if required, while Uber could be a case of picking the right time, avoiding any price surge, if there are plenty of people looking for a lift.
Sunshine Coast Airport will remain open as normal throughout the festive period.
7. Christmas lights
SUNSHINE Coast homes are being lit up with lights left, right and centre.
And if you're looking for some of the best Christmas lights on the Coast then we've got you sorted.
The Sunshine Coast Daily has dozens for you to check out on our interactive map here.
8. Christmas carols
THERE are a heap of events happening across the Sunshine Coast to help you get into the festive spirit.
Join the carols, check out Mooloolaba's annual Christmas Boat Parade or get on your bike for a tour of local Christmas lights displays.
Find out what's happening here.
GOOD news, paid parking meters have been switched off in Caloundra and will remain off from December 10 through to midnight, January 29.
Two-hour parking limits still apply where applicable throughout the festive season and parking officers will be patrolling timed parking areas throughout the Coast.
Don't say we didn't warn you!
COUNCIL'S household waste collection services will continue as usual through Christmas and New Year's, including Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Its rubbish tips will be closed for Christmas Day, but resume regular operating hours on all other days, meaning waste recovery facilities will be pretty well open for business at Beerwah, Buderim, Caloundra, Kenilworth, Mapleton, Nambour, Witta and Yandina.
11. Authors and arts
Sunshine Coast libraries are open for regular hours throughout Christmas and the New Year school holidays, but closed on all public holidays.
Libraries will close at 5pm on December 23 and 30. Council libraries are closed on Sundays.
The mobile library service will be closed from December 24 to January 2 and recommence on January 3.
THE Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden will be open daily from 7am-6pm over the break.
The Maroochy Arts and Ecology Centre will close for public holidays though.
13. Council customers
The main reception at council's Caloundra and Nambour offices will be open for normal operating hours throughout the holidays, but will close for public holidays.
The online council business portal will remain operating though throughout the break, at mycouncil.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au
14. Roads to avoid
Holiday time means out of towners are everywhere and plenty of us locals are on the move.
If you can, take public transport, cycle or walk where possible, you'll thank us later.
Here's our list of roads to avoid driving if possible over the festive season:
- Bruce Hwy: We all know how bad it gets with the daily commute and if you pick the wrong day you'll wind up in a multi-kilometre carpark. Especially on the last day of holidays. Stay local or catch the train if you can.
- Aerodrome Rd: The business/tourist strip will be chocka-block, especially as it turns into Alexandra Headland and anywhere around the Sunshine Plaza.
- Alexandra Pde: As it goes over the hill and into Mooloolaba Esplanade expect to hit a crawl.
- Mooloolaba Esplanade: Full of visitors trying to snag a carpark, this will not move above walking pace for the next few weeks.
- Plaza Pde: Do yourself a favour and avoid if possible. Christmas shoppers and Boxing Day sales bargain hunters will only add to your headache.
- Brisbane Rd: Another choke point in Mooloolaba, expect a pretty slow run through there too.
- Nicklin Way: With about 14,000 sets of traffic lights to go with the increased tourists this one will be a barrel of laughs to drive.
- Hastings St: The Noosans aren't immune to this. Rubberneckers eyeing off their al fresco coffee hotspots will have you considering a scooter in no time.
- Park Rd: The stretch taking you up into the Noosa National Park off the Main Beach will also be a relative nightmare. Especially if we get some decent swell.